It’s time – the first day of summer (or, as I prefer to think of it, Midsummer’s Eve). I intended to marry Fred as close as possible to that date, but it just wasn’t happening in 1999. So, June 19 it was – and we’ve just celebrated our twelfth anniversary.
We’re heading off with my sister Jo and Geoff, the man who tolerates her, on summer vacation the week before school resumes in August. Geoff’s family has an amazing set of old family homes on the Chain of Lakes near Waupaca, Wisconsin. I’d never been to Wisconsin until they invited us to join them last summer, and now I think it may be one of my favorite places. It’s a lovely place to slip away from the world for days at a time with a nice stack of reading materials.
Regardless, there are slow summer evenings and Saturdays between now and then and much to be read. The books I plan to pick from for summer reading include, in no particular order:
1. A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway (I try to read or reread a little Hemingway every year – love.)
2. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? – Seth Godin (One of my favorite marketers and an all-around genius.)
3. The House in France – Gully Wells (American journalist Dee Wells and philosopher A.J. Ayer in London in the 1960s.)
4. The American Heiress – Daisy Goodwin (Inspired by Consuelo Vanderbilt’s marriage to the ninth Duke of Marlborough.)
5. The City: A Global History – Joel Kotkin (Acclaimed urbanist explores what makes a city great.)
6. Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica – Zora Neale Hurston (One of my all-time favorite authors.)
7. Second Nature – A Gardener’s Education – Michael Pollan (Buys an old Connecticut dairy farm and follows Thoreau’s edict.)
8. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept – Paolo Coelho (My choice for the next of Paolo’s Coelho’s works to tackle.)
9. A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan (Our book club pick for June.)
10. Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa – Mark Seal (A naturalist’s death and intriguing life.)
11. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner – Alan Sillitoe (Integrity, courage and bucking the system.)
12. The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton (Having tried to buy it three times for my Mom, thought I better read it.)
13. Julie & Julia – Julie Powell (I read My Life in France by Julia Child and watched this movie, wanted to read it.)
14. The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin (This has garnered so much attention, I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about.)
15. Yes We Did! An Inside Look at How Social Media Built the Obama Brand – Rahaf Harfoush (Politics aside, I’ve been intrigued by Rahaf since hearing her speak several years ago and love her blog.)
16. The Book of Night Women – Marlon James (A book about Jamaica that reminded me of The White Witch of Rose Hall – had to grab it from a bargain shelf.)
17. Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh (A wonderful musing on life that I love to grab once in a while.)
18. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother – Amy Chua (I’ve been anxious to read this following much hype.)
19. Bossypants – Tina Fey (Had to throw in some great humor!)
20. Your recommendation? I thought I’d see what folks had to say and add another to my list!
While I’m unlikely to tackle them all, it’s great to have an arsenal of choices for the summer. What will you be reading? What do you recommend for me (and others)?
If you haven’t already, check out www.Goodreads.com and put your child on a summer reading challenge at the local library or Barnes & Noble! Happy summer reading!
WOW! That is an amazing reading list! I really need to make a list for myself bc I have a mental list in my head (obviously that’s where it is…) but when I go to Barnes and Noble I freeze. I intend to read far more than I take the time to do. Thanks! I’ll probably steal an idea off your list for now… ;))
Thanks, girl! If you aren’t on http://www.Goodreads.com, please join several of us from #AWBU! It’s a great source of reading inspiration. I promise you’ll have so much fun adding books you’ve read and want to read – you can just tag what your friends are reading to add to your “to read” list! And, there’s a great app so you don’t freeze up at B&N. 🙂
I’ve been wanting to challenge myself for ages to read all the books I already own but haven’t finished – maybe next summer. 🙂
As a former AP English teacher, I am THRILLED by your list!!! I loved using Seth Godin in my classes to show students how important critical thinking skills are in the “real world.” So excited about connecting with you on Goodreads to see more of your recommendations!
Um, as a former AP English nut, I am THRILLED by your reply! Now I have to switch to student mode: did you note my nod to the classics as well as AP-style delights such as Zora Neale Hurston? May I have a gold star, please? AP English turned me on to Their Eyes Were Watching God as well as Bless Me, Ultima and Ernest J. Gaines’ A Gathering of Old Men. *Insert pensive sigh*
Now that I know we also have grammar, English, smalls, blogging, freelancing and a million other things in common, I’ll be like that stain you can’t get out of your favorite shirt. Apologies in advance. I’m so loving your blog, by the way. Well written and true. We’re meant to be good pals. 🙂
Thanks for the comment!
Yes, I absolutely noticed your delightful choice by Zora Neale Hurston. I remember when I taught her novel my first year with 11th grade English. At first, the kids HATED slogging through the diction, but after a few chapters it seemed to click and they began making the most wonderful connections. Oh how I miss those days…
I taught it in conjunction with The Secret Life of Bees, which was not as deep as Hurston, but a good read nonetheless. More cursing, which ALWAYS got them interested 🙂
So glad we have ALL this in common! I’ve missed talking literature!!!
Kelly Ryan Kegans says
I love your list! Suddenly, my summer reading list just got a bit longer seeing yours! You’ve reminded me of a few good ones to pick up, including Harfoush’s Yes We Did! And OMG (to use a phrase from the kids), I plowed through Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants during a work trip recently, and “Bitch is the new black” is my new tagline. She’s awesome. And also smart. And funny. I have to say that I also think her book is a great one for women in business. Good lessons to be had there.
Thanks for sharing your list! Looking forward to knowing more about what’s on your bookshelves.
It’s been a treat to connect with you, Kelly!! Loving the new tagline – suspect I will need to adopt it as well.
Your blog is absolutely visually stunning and so well-written. Very excited to keep up with you! Thanks for taking a gander at mine as well.
Have you read “The Help”? I highly recommend it.
YES – and loved. It was our book club pick a month or two ago – such a great read! Now I have to check whether we are connected on Goodreads? Can’t remember. We need to do one of our crazy catch-up emails soon – I’ve been thinking of you!
so you love e. hemingway (never knew this about you!)? you must see midnight in paris. 🙂 love the blog!
Thanks, girl!!! 🙂